There are several considerations to think about before buying halogen down lights. Some of the decisions will be based on personal preference, while others will be based on cost. Before determining how many down lights to purchase, it is important to review the existing lighting circuit. Each circuit will identify its maximum voltage load. If a buyer decides to use more than the circuit can support, the lights will need to be divided so they use more than one lighting circuit.
Halogen Down Light Options
Before purchasing down lights, two decisions will need to be made: how much voltage is needed and what type of rating is best for the situation.
12 Volt or 230 Volt
Low voltage (LV or 12V) down lights are wired to a transformer, which is wired to the main circuit supply. The transformer reduces overall efficiency because it steps down the voltage. But the advantage is that it improves the overall performance of the down lights. In truth, the halogen 12V (MR16) lights are more efficient than the halogen 230V (GU10), because the 12V has a thicker filament. However, more efficient does not always mean best lighting.In the case of 12V or 230V, the 12V provides a whiter and brighter light.
The two biggest advantages of the 230V lights are that they are generally less expensive and they also offer easier installation because there is no transformer. We recommend using 12V in kitchens and bathrooms, where more light is needed, and the use of the 230V in other rooms.
Fire and Acoustic-Rated
Since many down lights are installed into tracks that are set in or on the ceilings, it’s important to avoid potential fire hazards. Using fire and acoustic-rated down lights will help protect the user against fire and noise issues. Additionally, they will meet with newer building regulations that include down light installation. They might be a little more expensive, but well worth it for the protection they provide.
Steps to Fit Halogen Down Lights
Fitting halogen down lights can be tricky since it involves electricity, but it can be done if the person who is installing them takes safety precautions. Review the steps below to determine whether this is a do-it-yourself project or if it is more prudent to call in an electrician. Either way, this is the list of what will be needed to complete the down light fitting:
Step 1: Measuring and Marking
Once the location of the down lights have been determined and installed, measure and mark the ceiling. Mark the centre point of the light and drill the pilot hole into the ceiling.
Step 2: Ceiling Check
Next, make sure there are no wires or pipes that are going to get in the way. It might be possible to see a ray of light through the pilot hole; if not, a wire coat hanger or piece of wire can be used to check. Bend the wire and twirl it around 360 degrees to see if there is anything that could obstruct the installation.
Step 3: Cut-out Check
Review the down lights specific cut-out instructions. A hole or pad saw can be used to cut the hole. First, draw the correct size circle on the ceiling to use as a guide. Then using the saw, cut the hole.
Step 4: Clean
Cutting can cause plaster and other debris to fall, so the area around the inside and outside of the hole needs to be cleaned. Note: Once installed, cleaning will not be possible.
Step 5: Wiring
Pull the wiring through the hole so the down light can be wired. Once the wires are properly connected, the down light can be pushed up into the hole using the two springs that are along the sides. The springs will lock the down light into place, once it is completely flush with the ceiling.
Step 6: Test
Test the first light after installation by reactivating (turning on) the electrical circuit. If the light flickers, then the wires need to be reattached more firmly. If the light doesn’t work, it is likely it is the wiring. There is a possibility the wiring became detached during the cleaning or actual installation.
Finding Halogen Down Lights and Supplies on eBay
Shopping for halogen bulbs and down lights is fast and efficient on eBay because it is one of the world’s largest on-line marketplaces. A wide variety of options and prices are available because of the sheer quantity of competitive sellers.
The fastest way to start the shopping experience for down lights is in the Home & Garden category. The Lighting and Supplies subcategories will provide all of the materials needed on the installation supply list above. Buyers will see photographs, descriptions and reviews that will all help in the buying decision. It’s also good to note that shipping costs will depend on the seller; some sellers include shipping in the price.